New cold front could put damper on Lunar New Year holiday

Cold front predicted to strike Taiwan on Lunar New Year's Eve

NOAA satellite map of Western Pacific. 

NOAA satellite map of Western Pacific. 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the mercury dipped to 10 degrees Celsius this morning (Jan. 20), the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicts that a new cold front will bring cold, wet weather starting as soon as Lunar New Year's Eve and lasting through much of the holiday.

CWB forecaster Chen Yi-hsiu (陳伊秀) said that although a continental cold air mass has begun to weaken today, radiative cooling still led to chilly temperatures this morning. The lowest recorded temperature in Taiwan's low-lying areas this morning was 10.7 degrees in Nantou County's Zhongliao Township.

WeatherRisk Explore Inc. President Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said that only the first two days of the Lunar New Year holiday, Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 are likely to see mild weather. Peng said that as soon as Lunar New Year's Eve (Jan. 24), the weather could begin to turn cold and rainy as a new cold front arrives that evening or early the next day.

Chen told ETtoday that temperatures will only rise slightly today in northern Taiwan, with highs ranging between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius, while central, southern, and eastern Taiwan will see highs range between 24 and 27 degrees. In terms of precipitation, most of Taiwan will see partly cloudy to sunny skies, with only eastern Taiwan and mountainous areas of Greater Taipei possibly seeing brief showers.

Chen said that the weather will remain stable from Tuesday through Friday (Jan. 21 to Jan. 24). He said that temperatures will begin to pick up significantly from Tuesday, with highs across the country ranging between 25 and 28 degrees on Wednesday through Friday.

As for low temperatures, northern Taiwan should see the mercury drop down to between 16 and 17 degrees throughout the week. Chen said that by the end of the week, a new wave of cold air and moisture will arrive, likely bringing cloudy skies and scattered showers to northern and eastern Taiwan for much of the rest of the break, which runs until Jan. 29.

The cold front, combined with the rain is expected to cause high temperatures to drop down to between 21 and 23 degrees in northern and eastern Taiwan. During this period, central and southern Taiwan will likely see more cloud cover and highs drop down to between 23 and 25 degrees.

Peng said that the next wave of cold air is likely to approach Taiwan late on the evening of Lunar New Year's Eve or the early morning of Lunar New Year's Day (Jan. 25). Peng said that moisture moving east from southern China on Saturday could bring rain throughout Taiwan on the first day of the new Lunar New Year.